Quarter Year Milestones 

Quarter Year Milestones 

Now that my little man has been a part of the world for three months, he has grown and changed so much already.

He’s been a flirt since day one. Grinning and laughing at mommy and mostly any girl he’s come in contact with. He’s such a Mack Daddy. And he has already been giving mommy kisses these last three months. He’s quite the charmer.

His early head and neck control combined with incredible back and arm strength make for an extremely squirmy boy. We know any day now he’s going to crawl right out of our arms and make his debut in the Olympics. Probably tomorrow actually…

That head control. Let’s talk about tummy time. He’s not a fan, but he KILT it. Upper body strength and head control for daaaaaayyyyyyys.

And he already tries to sit up… (What?! He’s too little for that!) But this guy is bound and determined.

Talking. Since just a couple of weeks old, he already fluently speaks his own language. (I know what you’re thinking… WHAAAT??? You don’t say!… But it is so, totally true!) Using his early developed language skills proves that he is one smart cookie. And when he’s well rested he’s such a comedian. He’s constantly cracking the funniest jokes, making everyone laugh.

Also he has graduated from sneezing in threes to only once or twice… sometimes. (He’s been a sneezer since he was born–gets it from his daddy).

I’m not sure what newborns dream about, but man it must be funny. He’s been chuckling (the cutest sounds ever) in his sleep since we brought him home. And now that he’s three months, his laughter is more intentional and more contagious. (And no one can make him laugh like his sissy can! She’s one silly girl!)

Toys and activities. This boy has to be constantly on the move. He loves to swing, walk around, dance, and gaze at all of the toys he can’t wait to get his hands on… He has started grabbing his toys and loves his play mat Uncle Matt got him the most!! And bath time is his absolute favorite.

Emotions. He may be a little boy, but he has BIG emotions. He is the happiest baby I have EVER seen… He can also become the angriest baby I have EVER seen. He’s very particular, and if you do something he doesn’t like, he will definitely let you know about it. I believe he gets his quick temper from his daddy!

He has also survived RSV (Praise the Lord!!!) in his few short months out of the womb. He is one strong boy! The past couple of weeks, he has started singing himself to sleep… (when he’s not fighting it). And his vocals are out of this world.

At night, he cannot go to sleep without mommy holding his hand. And I’m afraid he’s going to be a hair twirler just like his sissy. He is starting to look more like a little boy every day… and less like a baby. (It’s going too fast!) He is my sweet, sweet boy. He amazes me daily, and he is so, SO, very loved!!!

(He can also pass gas like a full grown man… Better chalk that up as a milestone!!)



Dear Baby Boy

Dear Baby Boy

Dear baby boy,

I want to start off by saying sorry. I’m sorry for crying. The entire way to the hospital. The morning you were born. Out of guilt for the fear of ruining your sister’s life. And I’m sorry for ever thinking I couldn’t love you as fully and completely as I love your sister. Because, boy, was I wrong.

From the moment I met you, I knew my world, my life, and my heart would never be the same. I finally understood that love is something that cannot be measured or contained. You burst my heart wide open once again and I knew, immediately, I’d fallen head over heels in love for the third time in my life.

I’m sorry I can’t seem to put you down. It’s something I promised myself I would do: make you more independent and self-reliant than your sister. But as a bundle of cuteness with all of your newness, I just can’t seem to bring myself to let you out of my sight or hands for a single second.

After all, I know how fast these moments pass. I know how fast the newness wears off. And I know how fast you’ll change, and I don’t want to miss a moment. Your sister taught me this. So maybe I’m not sorry for this one.

I’m sorry I haven’t written a word in your baby book. In fact, I’m sorry you didn’t even have a baby book until the day you were born (thanks for that, Nana). I’m not trying to make excuses, but, you see, with a wild toddler and a tiny newborn (both extremely needy), I haven’t exactly had a ton of spare time (or any for that matter).

I’m sorry for how forceful your sister loves you. She can be a bit aggressive in the kiss and hug and tickle departments, but she means well. And she wants to hold you ALLLLL of the time. (Actually, this is another one I’m really not sorry for, because it’s just so darn cute. And I hope it lasts forever). I actually love the way she loves you.

Next, there are so many things I love about you.
I love your crooked grin and sweet, sleepy chuckle. I love your noisy yawn and the way you sometimes sleep with one eye open. I love your pointy ear and the way you grunt until you get what you want. The way you snort like a little piggy and root around…

I love how you act like a baby bird when you’re hungry and the way you inch your way into the position you want to be held. And I love the sound of your hiccups that you get every time after burping. I love everything about you.

Because I’m an English teacher and also have a strong love of words, I often wonder why I can’t find one powerful enough to express all of my feelings for you. How can I possibly describe my love for you without using a million verbs, adjectives, and exclamation points? The answer is I can’t. Proof, again, that love cannot be contained. Not even in a word.

Just know that I love you with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my being. I love you entirely.




A Letter to My Best Girl, My Firstborn 

A Letter to My Best Girl, My Firstborn 

Dear Heart and Soul,

Dear First Love,

Dear Daughter,

Any day now and you will no longer be my only. While I am excited to meet your baby brother, my heart is breaking as our days of only us are quickly coming to an end. I ache from missing this time already. For the past 2+ years my whole world has revolved around you, and your wants, your needs, your dreams, and my dreams for you. As the world you’ve known your whole life is about to change, there are some things I need you to know.

I wasn’t ready for you, yet I was so ready for you. I wasn’t ready for the recovery or engorgement. I wasn’t ready to give up my showers, my body, my sleep, my boobs, my hair… or my heart. But you came along and took it anyways, and I’m so glad that you did.

I wasn’t ready to go back to work and leave you. I wasn’t ready for your first words, your first steps, your first gains at becoming the independent girl you are now… I wasn’t ready for my heart to be burst wide open. I wasn’t ready for any of it, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

You forced me to grow up and taught me to love stronger, deeper, fuller, and more selflessly than I ever thought possible. You forced me to become a better person, more compassionate, more sympathetic, more patient. You forced me to give more of myself than I even knew I could. You taught me to be a mother.

You’re the first, my first—my first love—the first baby I’ve told “I love you” to what seems like one hundred times a day. The first baby whose nose I sucked, whose butt I wiped, whose puke I caught, whose pee I just kind of slept in when I was too tired to change the sheets. I made mistakes. I forgot too much. But you loved me anyways. Thank you for loving me anyways.

I’m writing this letter for you, but for me too. Our baby is coming soon… As our family is about to expand, the feelings for me are bittersweet. Because I love you so fully, so completely, so much more than I’ll ever be able to put into words, I’m wondering how I will love another soul as uncontrollably and passionately as I love you… I’ve been told that love is immeasurable, and that it will magically expand tenfold. But when that happens, I don’t want you to feel left out.

So as our world changes and we bring our new baby home, I pray that you never feel second best, or jealous, or ignored. I’m so sorry you will no longer be my only. I’m so sorry for the mistakes I’ve made and the things I’ve forgotten. And I’m so sorry for drastically changing the world as you now know it.

At the same time, I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry for the love you’re about to share. I’m not sorry you’re about to gain a new best friend, someone I pray you love with all of your might and protect all of your days. I’m not sorry, because you’re going to be such a great big sister. I can’t wait to watch you hold him, make him laugh, play with him, teach him things. I can’t wait to watch you love him.

Just always remember that you were my first—I loved you first. You taught me so many things… You taught me how to be a mom. You taught me how to really love. Always remember that you are my best girl. And always remember that every fiber of me loves every fiber of you. I adore you. And these things will never change.





First Night Alone

First Night Alone

Being a mom is scary. The past two+ years (Whoa! Where has the time gone?!) have been full of fears and failures. As the time is getting closer to have your brother, I can’t help but remember the first night you cried inconsolably. You had been such a good baby, a good eater, and a good sleeper. However, I was still recovering from a 10 hour delivery, and was still so exhausted.

When you started crying that first time, you didn’t want to eat or need to be changed, and nothing I did was helping. So I did all that I could, and then I cried too.

Not because I had had enough or was overwhelmed, but because I couldn’t help you. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what you needed, and I wanted to be all you needed and to be able to comfort you and dry your tears.

I’m sure with both of us crying hysterically, Daddy probably was freaking out on the inside… but being the natural problem solver he is, he didn’t let it show and handled both of us like a champ.

That was a scary night for a first time mom, but we figured it out together. And with some gas drops, everything worked itself out and you continued to be that good eater and good sleeper…

…until about six months when we transitioned out of the heaven-sent woombie… but that’s another story.

Sweetest Sounds in All the Land

Sweetest Sounds in All the Land

Dear daughter,

The first time I heard your heartbeat I knew that quick pitter-patter was the most wonderful sound my ears had ever heard. I anxiously awaited each checkup to again hear that welcome rhythm. It was the best sound this mama had ever heard… That is, until I heard you cry.

The moment you came into this world, your cries filled the room… and my heart. This creature who had been living and growing inside me for what seemed like forever, became real. Became mine. And I cried too. I cried tears of joy, because I knew there could never possibly be a sweeter sound in all the lands… That is, until I heard you giggle.

After just a couple of months here in the world, you learned to giggle. And I thought my heart would explode with the overflow of joy. As these sweet giggles eventually turned into full-out, deep-belly, throw-your-head-back-and-laugh outbursts, I wanted nothing more than to hear these joyful and comical cackles as much as possible. I was sure there would never be a more beautiful sound… That is, until you said my name.

After just seven months as your mouth formed my name, a new sound captured my heart all over again. This word meant recognition, need, love (or at least to me it did). I thought I would never tire of hearing “mama,” because nothing had ever sounded so pure or more perfect than your little voice saying my name. And nothing ever would, I thought. That is, until you said “I love you.”

For the past few months, you have been saying “Love you.” And I live for those moments, when I get home from work and you are sitting in my arms, you look up at me, squeeze me, and say “love you.” Now I am certain this is definitely it: the greatest sound in the universe.

And I am also absolutely, entirely, 100% positive that there has never been a sweeter, more beautiful, pure, or perfect sound ever uttered in all of eternity. And I hope to hear it every day for the rest of my life…


(Even though some days I have to force it out of you…)

Potty Training 101 (Oh crap!!!)

It was getting closer to my dear daughter’s second birthday when I finally admitted I had put potty training off for too long. She had been displaying the “ready” signs for months now, but I wasn’t ready to lose the all-too-convenient diaper just yet. When I discovered other children her age were working on it, I decided it was time to stop dragging my feet and attempt to tackle those two most dreaded words: potty training.

The first day went great. While she did have three accidents, she also peed on her potty three times! I was more than pleased. I thought day two would be a breeze and even more successful than day one… I thought wrong.

Day two comes and I tell her to go peepee on her potty. And she refuses. I think maybe she doesn’t have to go yet… Hours go by, and nothing happens. I’m pouring water and juice down her throat in hopes she’ll have to use the potty soon…

“Finally!” I think, “She has to pee.” We can make some more progress…. Until I have her sit on her potty and she starts screaming like it’s a torture device (I mean, the girl can scream). She then proceeds to slam her potty shut and bang her head repeatedly on it. (Oh, the struggle, right?)

At this point, I am determined to make this second day a success instead of a regress. So I wait for the fit to subside, and open her potty and sit her back on it. She then decides it’s a great time to do the “hot dog” dance and starts running around the house like a Comanche yelling “Hot dog! Hot dog! Hot dog!” (Dang you, Mickey) Mid one of her rounds, she pees on the floor. It goes without saying, day two was not a success… Unless you count farting on the pot a success. Because each time she had to “toot,” by Golly, she would sit on her potty for that!

Once we made it through the horrors of day two and her refusals to go anywhere near her potty and after hours of no accidents and no attempts to use the potty, I decided it was time for a bathroom lockdown. And I literally shut her in the bathroom with me and her potty for an entire hour. Boy, was that fun! Let me tell you…

It was hard… so hard… to keep her in the bathroom (she can open doors). To keep her out of the shower. To keep her from having fun. She thought the whole experience was hilarious. Needless to say, shower and bedtime came and she still didn’t use the potty that entire day. Unless you count farting…

The next morning, however, we made progress! She pooped and peed on her potty!!! (Probably from holding it the entire day before…) I also broke out the M&Ms (thanks, Laura; you’re my hero!) which really got her interested… (Probably should have tried that Day 2). As I have gone back to work, my nanny, mother, and husband had the responsibility of continuing this training. At first no day was perfect, but she was attempting to use her potty and succeeding a lot of the time! And that’s all a mom can really ask during this dreaded training process.

Now, she can go peepee by herself (insert applause). With panties, it’s a little bit harder because she can’t yet pull them all the way down by herself, so she still needs a little help. And more often than not, I’m ever so fortunate that she chooses to save her actual poop time for when I’m home to clean it out of her potty. Lucky, lucky me. (Why did I decide it was time to get rid of diapers again??)

In the end, my girl is potty trained before two years old, and I couldn’t be a prouder mama! (But still, those diapers were just so easy…)



The Pregnant Lady Ugly-Crying at the Mall

Yes, I was six months pregnant, alone, and ugly-crying in the middle of the mall the Saturday before school started. You can imagine the looks I received… I’m sure people thought my baby daddy had just abandoned me… Or maybe they actually thought I was an over-hormonal and emotional pregnant lady crying over something trivial… The reason may or may not really be the latter.

Anyways, it was the weekend a local radio station had set up in the center of the mall to hand out school supplies to students in need. I did not know this prior to going, but when I showed up and there were lines of people from the center of the mall clear to the end of one wing, I became a little curious as to what was going on. So I continued my walk to the maternity store, did my shopping, went to get a pretzel, and in all of this time, the lines were still just as long. They were never ending.

So I sat. I looked at the innocent faces of the children in line as I snacked on my pretzel, and I began to cry. Not just one or two tears. I mean I bawled. Because here I was buying myself new pants and eating a pretzel, while these innocent children waited hours for a pack of pencils and paper. 

I wept for those kids who have needs that I will never know. I wept for the parents who can’t provide their families. I wept for the families who may not have food to eat or warm places to sleep. I wept for all of the needs I will never know. Then I wept for my own kids and how much they already have and how, hopefully, they will never experience these needs. I wept for all of the kids who have never felt loved. And I wept for my kids who only know love.

Each year my church shows a video of them handing out hundreds and hundreds of backpacks to the kids in our area, and each year I cry watching that video. But seeing it in person was such a humbling experience.  I think about how much I take for granted. How often I forget to be thankful. How the small things to me are big things to others…

So, yes, I was the pregnant lady ugly-crying at the mall on one of its busiest days of the year…